There are two types of people in the world, and I'm not talking about a silly old parsing of good and evil: no, what I mean is there are those who have read Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's novel Good Omens, and there are those who need to get their act together. Life on Earth (and we also imagine life in Heaven and Hell) is far better once you've experienced the comedic doomsday delight of one of the funniest books I've ever read.
Now that the television adaptation of the novel is officially in production,we've gathered all the info we have about it to help us wait out our remaining days before we get to watch it (so long as the apocalypse doesn't happen first). So here's everything we know about the Good Omens TV adaptation... so far.
Update (3/12) Good Omens at SXSW
Good Omens showrunner Neil Gaiman, director and executive producer Douglas Mackinnon, and stars Michael Sheen, David Tennant, and Jon Hamm stopped by SXSW on Sunday for a panel about the upcoming series. They shared comments on the tone of the show and working with each other. Amazon shared some highlights:
“First and foremost as a fan of Neil, one of the things I’m most touched by with Neil’s work, and particularly this book, is with all of the fantastic elements and huge themes, it’s about people. Our flaws, our strengths, what draws us together as a species. That trust and belief in people and humanity is what brings us here. Having Neil at the center of the show, so that trusting people and ability to collaborate and positively lean into people’s flaws is what allowed us to feel included and be able to express ourselves. It was truly a collaborative and human-centered process.” – Michael Sheen
“When I was writing for Crowley, I was writing for David Tennant… I thought that there’s no other human who could play Crowley. So, I had to persuade the powers that be to cast David.” – Neil Gaiman
“The book shows that both heaven and hell are shitty places to work, just one has a better view.” – Jon Hamm
“It’s amazing watching you two dance around each other.” – Neil Gaiman to Michael Sheen and David Tennant
Update (3/5) The Show Finds Death
After giving us a glimpse of the other three, we now know who will play the fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, as the great Brian Cox will voice book-favorite Death. He's a perfect choice, since so few people can manage to speak in all caps without yelling the way he can.
Character Video Posters
The show released new video character posters giving us our first look at some of the most important characters from the story, and despite offering no new footage they might be the most excited we've been for the show yet.
While seeing Anathema and Newt in the flesh is amazing, we're not exactly angels ourselves, which is why we really freaked seeing three of the four Horseman of the Apocalypse.
But if you think that's exciting, they're just the appetizer for the main course of destruction: Adam Young and the most adorable Hellhound ever, Dog.
Don't worry though, because a certain Sergeant is on the case, and Madame Tracy is along for the ride.
Cumberbatch, a Premiere Date, and Opening Credits
After a short drought with no Good Omens updates, we learned several things on Tuesday during the Television Critics Association winter press tour. Good Omens will premiere on May 31, 2019 on Amazon Prime. Amazon shared the opening credits, which you can watch above. The animated intro focuses on the unlikely demon and angel duo at the heart of the end of the world story. Amazon also announced none other than Benedict Cumberbatch will voice Satan, an animated character in the series. Finally, they shared key art and some new images:
Update: Things Are Looking Up and Down In New Poster
Hey, if you're at New York Comic Con, will you please grab us one these amazing new posters for the show featuring Michael Sheen and David Tennant as Aziraphale and Crowley?
Attend our #NYCC18 panel on 10/6 at 10AM ET with Neil Gaiman, Michael Sheen, David Tennant, Jon Hamm & friends. The fate of humanity depends on it… and so do your chances of receiving this exclusive #GoodOmens poster featuring Aziraphale and Crowley. #RoryKurtz @LevyCreative pic.twitter.com/oYD4MnlElb
— Good Omens (@GoodOmensPrime) October 5, 2018
Don't worry about flipping your computer screen around; we have you covered. So you should definitely grab one for us, right?
Neil Gaiman Confirms There Will Only Be One Season
If anyone was holding out how the world might almost end twice, Neil Gaiman has confirmed the series will only have one season.
Frances McDormand Joins the Cast and Amazon Shares First Set Video
Good Omens has found God. Or rather it has found its God, as it announced at this year's San Diego Comic-Con that Frances McDormand will be voicing the almighty. It's important to note she is playing God, not simply the voice of God (like Alan Rickman in Dogma).
Amazon also released the first video from the set, which gives us glimpses artwork for sets and costumes, behind-the-scenes footage from filming, and plenty of looks at Michael Sheen, David Tennant, and Jon Hamm.
Nick Offerman Joins the Cast
This cast just keeps getting better and better, with Parks and Recreation's deadpan king Nick Offerman becoming the latest big name to sign on. He'll be playing the U.S. ambassador who was picked by here to raise the Antichrist, but who instead was accidentally given a totally normal baby.
Seen here testing local drums for a 2 year old for volume+suitability (none of them were loud enough): our Secret Guest Star. Ladies, Gentlemen & All Others, as the father (sort of) of Warlock Dowling, the (Not-) Antichrist,I present the temporarily beardless Mr @Nick_Offerman. pic.twitter.com/SLen4qKs7b
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) March 6, 2018
A Touching Tribute to Terry Pratchett
His Good Omens co-author is no longer with us, but Neil Gaiman is making sure there's at least one touching (and fitting) tribute to the late Terry Pratchett on the show.
Some of the late writer's most beloved books will be included in Azriphale's book shop, along with a hat someone will be back to get someday.
The inclusion of even a hint of Pratchett makes us feel all the better about this new adaptation of Good Omens, especially given that such a hint is orchestrated by his longtime friend and colleague. Keep watch for more new Good Omens details!
First Look at Jon Hamm as the Archangel Gabriel
Neil Gaiman has shared the first image of Jon Hamm as the Archangel Gabriel from the set and it looks like Heaven is one very stylish place, because the man...err, angel...looks chic.
The Bard Joins the Show
More casting news from Neil Gaiman himself, as it looks like Shakespeare will get on on the act. Actor Reece Shearsmith will play the greatest playwright of all time, and the show has already filmed at the Globe Theatre.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) November 2, 2017
No, you're not crazy, Shakespeare is not in the novel (at least not in anyway anyone would have known).
In the book he’s the author of The Trapping of the Mouse and of Golde Diggers of 1589. But this is a new scene. https://t.co/0CDDEvztbb
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) November 2, 2017
But Gaiman explained he will be part of the series because it will fill in some of the gaps in the 6,000 years his leads have been on Earth.
The Show Finds Its Agnes Nutter, Three (of Four) Horseman, and Beelzebub
Heaven help us Good Omens' casting agent has been busy lately. First the show found its Agnes Nutter, as Josie Lawrence (Whose Line is it Anyway?) will reprise the role after originally playing the accurate prognosticating witch on the BBC Radio adaptation. And now it has also cast three of its Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, as Mireille Enos (War), Yusuf Gatewood (Famine), and Lourdes Faberes (Pollution--penicillin retired Pestilence) will make the end of the world an all female affair, especially since they'll also be joined by Anna Maxwell Martin (Bleak House), who will take on the role of Beelzebub.
Good Omens Will Hamm It Up
Every time we think we can't be more excited for this series, we find out we were wrong, and today is no different. In fact, we should be sounding trumpets to announce this latest news of the newest star to join the show: Jon Hamm, and he's playing a very famous angel.
Deadline reports that Hamm will play the archangel Gabriel, God's primary messenger and leader of the angels. While Gabriel has a small role in the novel, it looks like it will be much larger on the show. Gaiman said a sequel novel that he and Terry Pratchett had planned to write together before Pratchett's passing would have featured lots of angels, and that the two tried to include them in a failed movie adaptation years ago. Now he is finally introducing them to the story.
Based on Gaiman's description of Gabriel, Hamm (who said he loved the book when he first read it 20 years ago) was the perfect choice for the role. "[Gabriel] is everything that Aziraphale isn’t: he’s tall, good-looking, charismatic and impeccably dressed," said Gaiman. That sounds like Jon Hamm, who is probably what all angels look like in many people's minds.
The Novel in a Nutshell
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch is an hilarious action-fantasy novel about an angel and demon working together to stop the young, unaware Antichrist from bringing about the end of days. It was co-written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and released in 1990, and since then the beloved novel has developed a passionate and rabid fan base.
Image: Workman Publishing
The Wheres and Whens of Production
The six-part series is being co-produced by Amazon Studios and the BBC. Other movie and television adaptations have been attempted over the years, but only a radio series from BBC in 2015 ever made it to air. The series will debut on May 31, 2019 on Amazon Prime.
Gaiman has also explained the lengthy production time--the six hour-long episodes are mini-feature length movies.
The Cast and Crew
Not only did Gaiman write all six episodes, he is the showrunner for the series. So if anyone has complaints about any changes from the book, you won't have Gaiman as an ally. Meanwhile, playing the leads are two more Nerdist favorites: David Tennant as the demon Crowley, and Michael Sheen as his opposite (and friend) the angel Aziraphale. Gaiman shared a look at the two in character from "11 years ago" when the story starts.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) September 18, 2017
Playing Anathema Device, the last living descendant of the witch and world’s most accurate prophet Agnes Nutter, is Adria Arjona. She starred as Dorothy Gale on NBC's Emerald City, and as Emily on season two of True Detective.
Arjona will have have plenty of days on set with English comedian Jack Whitehall, who will play Newt Pulsifer, the wages clerk who opts for a far more interesting job as a member of the Witchfinder Army.
Playing Whitehall's curmudgeonly old boss and condensed milk enthusiast will be Michael McKean, who you will know from a long career of being amazing in everything, but most recently as Jimmy's brother Chuck on Better Call Saul.
Playing Madame Tracy, the sweet owner of The Painted Jezebel next door to Shadwell, is Miranda Richardson, whom many readers will know as Rita Skeeter from Harry Potter.
Image: Warner Bros.
So far other cast members include Ariyon Bakare and Ned Dennehy as Dukes of here Ligur and Hastur, Jasmine Hyde as Sister Grace, and Nina Sosanya as Sister Mary Loquacious.
The Young Family and the Them
The BBC has announced they have found both their Young family and the Them, including 11-year-old Antichrist Adam will be played by Sam Taylor Buck. His father Arthur will be played by Daniel May (Rogue One) and Sian Brooke (Sherlock) will play his mother Deidre.
Of course you can't have Adam without his friends/gang the Them. The other three kids in the cast will be Amma Ris as Pepper, Ilan Galkoff as Brian, and Alfie Taylor as Wensleydale.
Photos from the Set
Terry Pratchett's Part in All This (from Beyond the Grave!)
After Pratchett passed away in 2015, Gaiman swore he would never do anything with the novel without his co-writer. That was until he received a handwritten letter from the late Pratchett, who had instructed the note only be given to Gaiman after his death. In the latter, Pratchett encouraged Gaiman to work an adaptation without him. Since it was impossible for Gaiman to argue with Pratchett at this point, he had no choice but to honor his friend's request. He has also made sure Pratchett's presence would be felt on set.
We'll keep our eyes out for more information as we get it, so make sure to check back here for the latest on the show. And head to our comments below to tell us what you're most looking forward to, or to let us know if we missed any news.
Featured Image: Amazon